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Social Media in the Age of Social Distance

Introduction
Social Media in the Age of Social Distance

Many businesses know they need social media marketing, but when it comes to making it happen, they become like deer in headlights, freezing in the face of a host of questions:

  • Which platforms are right for me?
  • What content should we create?
  • How do we measure success?
  • How do we implement frameworks like inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer?

These are the right questions to ask, and over the last 10 years, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses answer them.

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with social media, especially as hybrid marketers and consumers.

In recent years, Facebook and TikTok have come under fire due to privacy concerns, and Instagram has been criticized for its effects on mental health, but at the same time, social media as a whole has become as synonymous with marketing as billboards were three decades ago.

And this should come as no surprise.

Why Social Media Marketing?

Ninety-two percent of U.S. marketers in 2021 were expected to use social media for marketing purposes, and three-quarters of internet users age 16-64 say they turn to social media when researching products and services they’re interested in buying.

Though social media platforms were previously seen as simply streams of birth announcements, food photography, and grammatically incorrect memes (though there remains no shortage of these things either), they are now powerful business and shopping hubs, especially as the COVID-19 virus has put much of the world at social distance.

The majority of respondents to a survey by Influenster agreed that their social media consumption (72%) and posting (43%) increased during the pandemic.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others, have become rich networking and engagement tools, as ingrained in our everyday lives as getting a cup of coffee or tea.

And their marketing benefits are numerous:

  • Increased Reach and Brand Awareness: With their massive active audiences, social media platforms present new channels for reaching your existing and, most importantly, new potential buyers with your message.
  • Customer Satisfaction and Engagement: Brands can also increase their customer satisfaction by actively fielding questions, responding to support issues or comments, taking note of feedback, and using social media to create a better customer experience. This is so important, that 49% of consumers reported “poor customer service” as one of their top reasons for unfollowing a brand on social media.
  • Increased Website Traffic: This isn’t an easy benefit to achieve, but it is possible. Social media creates new channels of distribution for your content and links back to your website.
  • Humanizing Your Brand: Social media offers a direct, unfiltered line of communication between consumers and brands that has never existed before. With this 1:1 engagement and the proper use of content, brands have the opportunity to humanize themselves and simultaneously build the trust needed to earn their audience’s business. On that note…
  • Establishing Trust: More than anything, the personal connections and authentic and valuable sharing done on social media help establish trust with your audience. This trust is the catalyst for closing deals and creating long-term, customer relationships.

    People want to trust the businesses they are giving their money to. This is why Marcus Sheridan teaches that we are all ultimately in the business of trust. More on that shortly.

With these benefits, better data, community and shopping tools, comprehensive advertising offerings, and ever-growing global user numbers, social media deserves more attention than ever from your marketing team — but how do you navigate these complex waters to successfully scale your business?

Succeeding with social media as a business is very different from succeeding as an individual, but we’re here to help you understand the differences and come out on top.

In this guide, we’ll address all your common concerns and break down how to get started on five of the most effective social media platforms for marketers.

Let’s get to it.

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